MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
President Biden has plans to offer citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants. We’ll talk about the pros and cons.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Also today: how pro-life advocates plan to operate now under a new administration.
Plus our Classic Book of the Month.
And commentator Les Sillars on the perspective he gained from the testimony of the persecuted.
REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, February 2nd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington has today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden hosts Republicans for relief bill talks » President Biden sat down with a group of Republican senators at the White House on Monday.
They’re asking him to consider a smaller and more targeted COVID-19 relief bill than the nearly $2 trillion dollar package he is seeking.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday…
PSAKI: The president has been clear since long before he came into office that he’s open to engaging with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress about their ideas, and this is an example of doing exactly that.
But it will not be an easy sell, especially with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer prepared to cut Republicans out of the process.
SCHUMER: It makes no sense to pinch pennies when so many Americans are struggling. The risk of doing too little is far greater than the risk of doing too much.
Schumer has already declared that if Republicans don’t play ball on the $1.9 trillion package, he’ll seek to pass the measure without them, using a process called budget reconciliation.
GOP Senator John Cornyn on Monday cautioned against that.
CORNYN: Before we rush out and throw trillions of dollars—I should say more dollars—at this problem, we need to see how what we’ve done is already working.
The GOP proposal is just over $600 billion.
Many Republicans are reluctant to pile on to a national debt now approaching $28 trillion.
Blinken: Iran could be weeks away from nukes » Secretary of State Tony Blinken is warning that Iran could be just “weeks away” from having enough material to make a nuclear weapon.
He told NBC News that if Iran continues to operate outside the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal, it could have the weapons very soon.
Blinken said President Biden is willing to return the United States to the nuclear agreement. The Trump administration pulled out of the pact in 2018.
Trump hires new lawyers ahead of Senate impeachment trial » Former President Donald Trump announced a new impeachment legal defense team, just one day after lead attorneys on the case stepped down. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: With the Senate impeachment trial set to begin next week, Trump has hired defense lawyer David Schoen, a frequent television legal commentator and Bruce Castor, a former district attorney in Pennsylvania.
The announcement came just one day after Trump and his lead impeachment lawyers parted ways. Sources told the Associated Press that they left over a difference of opinion on the defense strategy.
House Democrats and some Republicans charged that Trump incited insurrection after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6th.
But a Senate conviction is very unlikely. Many GOP lawmakers say it’s time to move on. And all but five Senate Republicans last week voted in favor of dismissing the trial before it begins.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Winter storm piles on snow in Northeastern U.S. » AUDIO: [SNOWBLOWER]
Snowblowers are hard at work in the Northeast today as a winter storm continues to pile on.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned on Monday…
DE BLASIO: Blizzard conditions, stay off the roads, stay off the streets and sidewalks. Stay inside. If there’s any way you can avoid traveling, avoid traveling today.
The Big Apple could be buried under more than a foot-and-a-half of snow by the end of the day.
Lara Pagano with the National Weather Service said a nor’easter is bringing heavy snow and strong winds through the rest of today.
PAGANO: Snowfall in excess of 8 inches from Pennsylvania to Maine with many places exceeding 12 inches.
She said some spots could even get as much as two feet of snow.
The winter storm is again wreaking havoc on travel. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights at the region’s major airports on Monday.
Tony Bennett still rehearsing twice a week despite Alzheimer’s » Singer Tony Bennett has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but it hasn’t quieted his iconic voice.
AUDIO: [Who Can I Turn To]
The singer’s wife, Susan, said his moments of clarity are increasingly rare, but he continues to rehearse and twice a week goes through his 90-minute set with his longtime pianist. And the 94-year-old is still on pitch with every note.
She said “He’s not the old Tony anymore, but when he sings, he’s the old Tony.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with the disease and one in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia.
‘Saved by the Bell’ star Dustin Diamond dies of cancer at 44 » Actor Dustin Diamond died Monday at the age of 44 after a brief battle with cancer.
Diamond was best known for playing Screech on the ’90s teen sitcom Saved by the Bell.
AUDIO: Actually, you’ve helped me. You’ve made me realize that there are a million fish in the sea and I’m just the worm to attract them.
Diamond’s spokesman Roger Paul said in a statement that “Dustin did not suffer” and “for that, we are grateful.”
The actor was hospitalized last month in Florida and he later announced that doctors diagnosed him with stage 4 small cell carcinoma.
I’m Kent Covington.
Straight ahead: President Biden’s immigration policy.
Plus, Les Sillars puts the next four years in perspective.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021. You’re listening to The World and Everything in It and we’re so glad to have you along today. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up, immigration.
It wasn’t a major topic on the campaign trail this year. But after winning the election, President Biden promised to propose sweeping immigration reforms. And he didn’t waste any time.
REICHARD: He did not. The president unveiled his legislative package on his first day in office. Its most controversial proposal? Creating a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living in the United States without authorization.
WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.
CHAVEZ: I’m originally from Mexico. I was born there.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Mary Chavez was 4 years old in 1988. That’s when her parents decided to sneak their family across the border into the United States.
CHAVEZ: And I was raised in California.
Today, Chavez lives in a small Wyoming town with her three daughters and their father, Edgar.
But she lives in constant fear of her family being broken apart.
Chavez is protected by DACA—or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.
But Edgar doesn’t qualify for the program. He came illegally to the United States when he was older—17.
He’s already been deported once, two weeks after the birth of the couple’s first daughter.
CHAVEZ: He had to go back to Mexico. So it was really hard for me, I ended up in depression and postpartum depression, pretty much.
After several months, Edgar found his way back into the country and reunited with his family.
But Mary Chavez fears he will be deported again, this time for good.
CHAVEZ: I’ve been living in fear of not being able to say we’re here legally, which I mean, we cannot feel safe in our own home without having someone knocking on the door. And it’s going to be, I don’t know, you know, an ICE officer or something like that. And it’s just hard to live in fear. It’s, that’s a feeling that you don’t want for someone else.
Under President Biden’s new proposal, undocumented immigrants could immediately apply for temporary legal status. If they pay taxes for five years and pass a background check, they can apply for green cards. And three years after that, green card holders can apply for citizenship.
The nation’s 650,000 DACA recipients would have a shorter pathway to citizenship. They could immediately apply for green cards and then apply for citizenship three years later.
That also goes for the more than 300,000 people living in the United States under a Temporary Protected Status.
David Bier is an immigration scholar at the Cato Institute. He says it’s about time the government gives undocumented immigrants a way to become citizens.
BIER: We have to do something about the problem of so many people building their lives here over many years, without having the opportunity to become Americans.
But critics of the plan say it would have serious consequences.
HOWELL: It’s the most radical and extreme proposal in American history. I struggle to find an international comparison that would have such an effect.
Mike Howell is a senior adviser at the Heritage Foundation. He says while the proposal is publicly being pushed for humanitarian reasons, it is really about political power.
HOWELL: This is political in the sense that for a very long time, the Left has viewed illegal immigration as a vector for getting more votes, more dependency on government programs and growing the large essence of the government in the welfare state. So this is a political power grab.
Howell argues that if the United States grants citizenship to immigrants who broke the law to come into the country, then more migrants will come to the southern border.
HOWELL: They know they won’t be removed. And they’ll be given, you know, the full suite of benefits of U.S. citizenship and you know, our great economy, our great communities, and all the social services.
Cato’s David Bier agrees that if the federal government doesn’t also reform legal immigration laws then the United States will end up with the same difficult situation down the road.
So far, he says, President Biden’s proposal falls short of broad legal immigration reforms.
BIER: This bill is primarily dealing with family reunification, and highly skilled employment based permanent immigration. It does not address the problem of workers trying to come for lower skilled positions that don’t require a college degree. And that’s really the main driver of illegal immigration.
Bier says to stem the flow of illegal immigration into the country, lawmakers need to make guest worker visas easier to obtain. These visas are for immigrants looking to work in agriculture, meat packing, and poultry processing.
BIER: They came to this country the wrong way. But the U.S. government doesn’t want to provide them with the option to come the right way. And so that’s, that’s the major shortcoming of this bill.
Other immigration advocates are just excited the conversation is getting started.
Ali Noorani heads the National Immigration Forum. He says immigration reform will, of course, move slowly. That’s why lawmakers need to start the debates now.
NOORANI: For President Biden to come right out of the gates and say, Okay, this is my vision for immigration reform, I think invites Republicans and Democrats in Congress to say, Okay, this is, you know, our, our vision for immigration reform.
And while comprehensive immigration reform has historically ended in gridlock, Mary Chavez says her hopes are high this time will be different.
CHAVEZ: I am a really religious person. I’m Catholic. So I pray a lot every time and, and my prayers I’m always asking, you know, Lord, just just touch their heart. And I have my hopes that everything’s gonna change for good.
House and Senate Democrats have vowed to get to work on these immigration issues right away. But they likely will have a hard time getting enough Republican votes to make it past the Senate filibuster.
The Biden administration says it would also support splitting the reform measures into smaller bills that have a better chance of winning 60 votes.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: switching from offense to defense.
Pro-lifers spent the last four years enjoying the support of a friendly White House. Now with a different administration, they are prepared for a return to government hostility.
Playing defense is nothing new for pro-lifers. The playbook they’re pulling out for the Biden administration got plenty of use when the president was vice president.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Despite the challenges during those eight years, the pro-life movement did find ways to advance their cause.
So what do pro-life groups have planned for the next four years? Joining us now to talk about that is Kristi Hamrick. She’s been involved in the pro-life movement for many years and now works with Students for Life. Good morning, Kristi!
KRISTI HAMRICK, GUEST: Good morning! Thanks for having me!
REICHARD: We know the next four years won’t be easy for the pro-life movement, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fruitful. A lot of the work happens at the state level, independent of who’s in the White House. What are some of the top priorities for Students for Life and others you work with in terms of state-level policies?
HAMRICK: Well, all of us in the pro-life movement know presidents come and go, legislators come and go. But at the state level, that’s where real change takes place. So, at the state level, you see a real interest in legislation that limits abortion later in pregnancy. And, in fact, during the week of the anniversary of Roe, Students for Life of America put out a poll that looked at just Millennials and Gen-Z, the generation most targeted for abortion and the generations always presumed to be pro-abortion. Almost seven out of 10 Millennials and Gen-Z want a vote on abortion-related policy. Less than two out of 10—almost 80 percent—want abortion through all nine months for any reason at all and with, often, government funding. They don’t want it. So they really do support limits. So, limiting legislation at the state level, not after the fifth month of the pregnancy, not through all nine months, not with taxpayer funding. That kind of thing is very, very popular.
You see Texas being creative with funding. Kansas just passed just last week an initiative to get on their ballot in 2022, a ballot initiative that says their state constitution does not hide a right to abortion. So, there’s just a lot of exciting things that we’re involved with.
REICHARD: Now, you listed a couple of states—Texas and Kansas. Other states leading in these areas? Who else?
HAMRICK: Honestly, it’s exciting. Students for Life testified in Montana a couple weeks ago where we were looking at limiting an before five months and handling no-test abortions, opposing them when it comes to chemical abortion. And that’s the thing, the abortion lobby really wants to say drop all the tests for abortion and let’s just sell these pills without a test. And here’s something for people to be aware of. There’s many reasons to be opposed to that. I’m RH negative. My husband is RH positive. It’s our blood type. Fifteen percent of the population is RH negative. If an RH negative woman has an abortion, a miscarriage, or a birth and isn’t treated with a shot called rhoGAM, you can become infertile the rest of your life. It has to be done immediately when there is an exchange of blood. So, when abortionists say they don’t want to do ultrasounds to see how far along is a pregnancy or where it’s located and they don’t want to test for blood type, they are risking women’s lives, health, and future children. And when you think about the rise of infertility in the United States, abortion is a variable, a huge variable that isn’t often discussed. So, Students for Life joined and helped lead a coalition along with SBA List and a lot of other big organizations—AUL, Americans United For Life—to get this chemical abortion legislation out around the country. And we’re getting more and more feedback now. I would invite you to go to Students for Life Action for that, but, like I said, we’re working in Texas, Montana, Nebraska. There’s legislation popping up—I think we’ve got 10 or 15 states right now looking at all kinds. We’re working on some heartbeat legislation that includes requirements for childcare for women after the baby is born. So, we need to be holistic, both in limiting abortion and expanding help for women.
REICHARD: For a while now we’ve seen support for abortion drop in national surveys. Pro-life persuasion is working. How do you think a pro-abortion administration affects that persuasiveness, that abortion is wrong?
HAMRICK: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting that you say that. Most people don’t realize that in the United States, abortion is legal through all nine months for any reason whatsoever and sometimes with taxpayer funding. That doesn’t mean every abortion vender does that radical late term abortions, it just means it’s available and possible to get in the U.S. So, it’s a really shocking thing when they understand that when Roe wiped out all the pro-life laws in the country, we were back to ground zero to trying to protect life. And we were also at less than zero when it comes to what Roe allowed. And something to flag for your listeners, codifying Roe is a phrase that was discussed kind of insider politics during the election and that just this week, timed with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Joe Biden said he supported. Codifying Roe means passing a federal law that says that whatever Roe allows is going to be required nationwide.
So, we’re going to need to be fighting and flagging and educating on how codifying Roe is radical. And the Biden administration has said they want to get rid of the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment is taxpayers paying for all abortions here at home. Just last week, Joe Biden got rid of the Mexico City policy so we can pay for worldwide abortions. So, federally speaking, we have our work cut out for us. But at the state level, I think there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 states that have pro-life initiatives that are moving through legislators, so you really want to check that out at your local level.
REICHARD: Kristi Hamrick is with Students for Life, a pro-life non-profit organization that focuses on college students and campuses. Kristi, thank you for speaking with us today.
HAMRICK: Thanks for having me.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Video game retailer GameStop became the biggest story on Wall Street after small investors drove up its values and rocked the short sellers.
It’s a pretty big story in San Antonio as well, at least for one young man. That’s where 10-year-old investor Jaydyn Carr lives.
Carr just made a mint by selling his stock in GameStop he received more than a year ago.
His mother, Nina, spent $60 for 10 shares of the stock in December of 2019.
She told television station KENS, she used the gift to teach her son about money.
NINA: That was the way that I could fuse his interest in video games and things like that with economics.
Jaydyn just sold that stock for more than $3,000!
Now mom has the challenge of explaining that it doesn’t usually work like this!
But he’s already making good decisions. Rather than blow that wad of cash, Jadyn is planning to save it and reinvest.
JAYDEN: I plan to save about $2,200 of that, and the rest of that thousand, I’m going to invest in companies like Roblox and Microsoft.
Interesting: Old tech and new. Sounds like he’s got an investment strategy there.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, February 2nd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: our Classic Book of the Month.
Emily Whitten’s selection for the month of February is John Perkins’s Let Justice Roll Down.
EMILY WHITTEN, REPORTER: John M. Perkins first published his autobiography, Let Justice Roll Down, nearly half a century ago. In it, Perkins writes in a simple and straightforward way. No hyperbole, no flowery metaphors. While the book hasn’t won many awards, the life described in its pages certainly has. WORLD Magazine chose him as last year’s Daniel of the Year, and that’s on top of 16 honorary doctorates.
Perkins’s life inspires many in the church to keep working for racial unity. Last September, one reader named Glenda Green described her reaction to Perkins’ writing. This is from an online Bible study by the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation:
GLENDA GREEN: This year has just really done me in. I didn’t want to engage anymore. I know I’m called to do this work, but I was ready and willing to turn away from the plow. And I believe God has directed me to Dr. Perkins and his work, I feel encouraged. I feel I can run on.
Christian singer-songwriter Jon Foreman of the band Switchfoot says Let Justice Roll Down inspired his song, “The Sound,” released in 2009. Here’s Foreman in a Youtube interview from last July.
FOREMAN: There’s this moment he is tempted to hate them. He chooses love instead of hatred and violence. I felt like we gotta write a song about this and tell his story.
So what is Perkins’ story? His book begins midstream, with the 1955 murder of his brother by a police officer. Clyde had recently come back from serving in World War II, and he was waiting in line outside a local theater. Here’s John Perkins from a 2005 University of California television interview.
PERKINS: And he was in line talking to his girlfriend there, and they must have been talking loud, and the policeman came up behind him and hit him. And he just sort of turn around and grabbed the club from the policeman, and he shot him.
No one investigated the policeman’s use of force, and Perkins knew he might be next. So, after he turned 17, he headed to California for a new start.
The next chapter details Perkins’ early life as a son of sharecroppers in Mississippi. Early on, his mother died of malnutrition, and his father left him and his brother with their grandmother. Perkins says longing for father love haunted him throughout his early years. But in California, Perkins found a good job. He married his high school sweetheart, and they had their first son. Later, when that son attended a Bible study, Perkins heard Galatians 2:20 for the first time.
Here’s a clip from an interview at St. Norbert College.
PERKINS: I think it’s the greatest statement of the gospel. I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, he says, but it’s Christ who lives in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
Perkins explains what the words meant to him.
PERKINS: See, growing up without a mother, growing up without a father, my drive in life was to be loved. I had not had love. Then I heard that this God loved me enough to give his son. That’s some love. And that was my beginning…
Soon, Perkins went back to Mississippi to tell others about God’s love in Christ.
PERKINS: See, the Civil Rights Movement heated up, it was going with murders going to Ole Miss early. Then Medgar Evers getting killed early, 62. And then 63, the Civil Rights workers getting killed.
In the early 1960s, legal segregation and racial violence crippled his community. Black citizens couldn’t vote. They couldn’t hold certain jobs or even shop or eat in certain stores. So, he and others organized a boycott in their town.
When 19 young people got arrested, Perkins and other black leaders went to the jail to get them released. Racist police officers, including the sheriff, ambushed them in the parking lot. Perkins speaks here in the short film Redemption, available on YouTube.
PERKINS: The sheriff said, ‘This is another ball game. You’re not in Mendenhall.’ And boy he clubbed me, and then they started. It was savage. I thought they was gonna kill me.
The police arrested Perkins and those with him and tortured them through the night. The next day, they let him go, but Perkins spent many weeks in the hospital before he recovered.
In his Preface to Let Justice Roll Down, Perkins writes about his struggle to forgive during that time. Here’s the Oasis Audio version:
PERKINS: The Lord had to lead me through a great time of soul searching. And it wasn’t until I could look at a Mississippi Highway Patrolman, fully uniformed and ready for service, and look at him without feeling a sense of bitterness, that I could really begin to relate my faith in a creative way to the task of reconciliation and evangelism. I have overcome that sense of bitterness in my own heart…
When he left the hospital, Perkins worked toward racial reconciliation with new determination. Several chapters cover the beginning of his work to start Bible study centers, churches, schools, and community co-ops. When Philip Ryken introduced Perkins in a 2016 interview at Wheaton College, Ryken gave this summary of Perkins’ life.
PERKINS: I can hardly think of anyone who has done more to promote racial understanding in community development work, particularly in urban communities over the last generation, than John Perkins.
In our February Classic Book of the Month, Let Justice Roll Down, Perkins shows how God’s Word can move Christians toward one another, despite real differences and a toxic political culture.
In the documentary Redemption, Perkins sums up his hope for the church this way.
PERKINS: That we can forgive each other. That we could make a better world for our children. We washing the wounds we have inflicted on our brothers and sisters. We are washing each other’s wounds.
I’m Emily Whitten.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, February 2nd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.
Over the years, WORLD has covered how Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen have persecuted Christians in Africa. Les Sillars recently heard the testimony of a similarly situated Christian in Nigeria. He found it to be deeply humbling.
LES SILLARS, COMMENTATOR: This is Simon Yako.
YAKO: To testify to the goodness of the Lord, from January to this time that we are in…
About nine months.
YAKO: …they have kidnapped 11 of our missionaries and one pastor’s wife.
Simon heads an organization called Evangelical Church Winning All. ECWA has about 2,000 national pastors and missionaries throughout Nigeria.
Our church, Fellowship Bible Church, works with ECWA. Simon spoke to two of our pastors last fall by Zoom.
YAKO: In fact, one of our staff here in the office was kidnapped, and how God rescued him, it was a miracle.
They tried to force him to become a Muslim.
YAKO: He said no. Jesus is the Lord and he cannot just deny Him. So he kept on preaching to them until God released him from their hands.
Another pastor was kidnapped from his own house in front of his children.
YAKO: They took him! And they went away with him!
But he shared the gospel with them. Strangely, they promised not to hurt him. They gave him a blanket. They untied him. And they said, could you scream, like we’re torturing you? We need to convince your family that you’re suffering.
YAKO: He said, how can I as a pastor, shout? And this will be a lie.
So he didn’t. And eventually they released him.
YAKO: We look at it as God’s way of reaching out to them, they use that time to share the gospel with them. In Jos, we have had several of them who have really given their lives to the Lord.
The ministry has provided trauma counseling to the victims.
YAKO: And after the trauma healing they are really willing to forgive, and they forgive them!
Their captors are not just enemies
YAKO: Who have tortured them, they look at them as people who are lost, and who need salvation.
The wife of one missionary killed during an attack was in despair. She wondered if God really exists. But eventually she understood God from a different perspective.
YAKO: She was able to say now I understand God who He is. God is a god of mercy, and is a god of forgiveness.
Our sufferings are temporary. A single seed, as Jesus said, remains a single seed until it falls to the ground.
YAKO: But if it dies, it produces much fruit. After all one day we are going to be with the Lord. So if God allows that that should be the way that we go to heaven, we cannot dispute that.
Simon said they are giving God glory…
YAKO: …even in the face of all these challenges that we are facing, the Lord has always remained faithful.
You know, after hearing Simon’s testimony, I’m not quite as worried as I was about the challenges of a Biden administration. And I’m praying for my brothers and sisters in Nigeria. I hope you’ll join me.
I’m Les Sillars.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: President Biden we are told has big plans for healthcare. But will he be able to reinvent Obamacare and make it his own? We’ll talk about it on Washington Wednesday.
And, we’ll meet ranchers in Florida who traded in their milk cows for a herd of exotic beef cattle.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
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The Apostle Paul wrote: one thing I do is forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Go now in grace and peace.